Program Office

PSI/Vietnam
11th floor, VINAFOR Building,
127 Lo Duc street
Hai Ba Trung district
Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone: + 84-4-944-6324
Fax: + 84-4-944-6323
psi@psi.org.vn

Vietnam

Despite progressive economic and social development gains during recent years, public health challenges continue to limit progress in Vietnam. Limited sanitation services, unsafe water and poor hygiene practices are leading causes of pneumonia and diarrhea, which account for nearly one-third of deaths among children under five-years-old in Vietnam.1 One in three children is undernourished, contributing to high national rates of stunting.2 Rapid development is also ushering in a host of new health challenges to the Vietnamese people, such as an escalating HIV epidemic in most-at-risk populations. Vietnam has the twelfth highest tuberculosis burden globally, and the national prevalence rate of Hepatitis C (HCV) is ten times that of HIV.3,4 More than a third of adolescent females have unmet need for contraception, and maternal mortality rates in rural areas are three times that of urban provinces.5

Launched in 2005 to respond to the unmet health needs of Vietnam’s low-income and underserved communities, PSI/Vietnam implements social marketing programs in 17 provinces.

  1. 1. UNICEF. Pneumonia and Diarrhea: Tackling the deadliest disease for the world’s poorest children. 2012.
  2. 2. Vietnam General Nutrition Survey 2009-2010.
  3. 3. Global tuberculosis control: surveillance, planning, financing: WHO report 2008. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2008 (WHO/HTM/TB/2008.393).
  4. 4. VAAC Vietnam Data.
  5. 5. UNFPA. Compendium of Research on Reproductive Health in Vietnam for the Period 2006-2012. 2012.
Health Areas

Child Survival, Diarrheal Disease, HIV, Non-Communicable Diseases, Tuberculosis, Undernutrition

PSI in Vietnam

Since 2008, PSI/Vietnam has held a Representative Office license by the People’s Aid Coordinating Committee (PACCOM). This is the highest type of license available to international non-governmental organizations working in Vietnam, and allows PSI/Vietnam to plan and implement health programs at scale in 17 provinces.

PSI/Vietnam has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU’s) with key partners at national as well as provincial levels including: national Government of Vietnam agencies, provincial government partners, provincial Women’s Unions, commercial and civil society partners.

Health Impact

PSI/Vietnam estimates that in 2013, its products and services helped avert more than 46,000 healthy years of life (DALYs)1, including:

  • 39,312 HIV DALYs
  • 4,213 TB DALYs
  • 2,312 Child Survival DALYs
  • Additional results were generated through the treatment of over 6,000 hypertension cases in 2013 through PSI’s network of Good Health, Great Life franchised private clinics.
  1. 1. Source: The DALY (Disability-Adjusted Life Year) is a widely-used, credible metric that was first developed by the World Bank and is now routinely relied upon in the public health community.
Health Interventions
Improving Health in Vietnam

HIV & HEPATITIS C

The HIV epidemic in Vietnam is highly concentrated in most-at-risk populations (MARP), including people who inject drugs, sex workers, men who have sex with men, and the sexual partners of vulnerable groups, such as male clients of sex workers.1,2 It’s estimated that there are currently 260,000 individuals living with HIV in Vietnam, of which up to 65% are injecting drug users.3,4 According to 2009 data, 58% of people who inject drug in Vietnam are infected with Hepatitis C (HCV). Rates of co-infection of HIV and HCV among MARPs have emerged as an urgent health issue, and HCV is quickly becoming a leading cause of death among people living with HIV. PSI/Vietnam promotes HIV and HCV programs and services to empower MARPs to lead healthier lives. Highlights from each of these program areas include:

HIV & HCV Prevention Product Social Marketing: Condoms and Syringes

In addition to promoting condom use through targeted behavior change communication activities, PSI/Vietnam works to increase condom availability in high-risk areas and non-traditional outlets including guest-houses, hotels, street vendors, cafes and massage parlors. By convincing owners of non-traditional outlets and entertainment establishments to purchase and promote condoms, PSI/Vietnam’s social marketing program is promoting a sustainable approach to HIV programming in the private sector. PSI/Vietnam works closely with USAID, Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control and the provincial government to provide technical assistance, develop social marketing programs and coordinate condom distribution. PSI/Vietnam also promotes female condoms for sex workers and water-based lubricants co-packaged with male condoms for men who have sex with men and sex workers. In 2013, over 8.7 million male and female condoms were sold and circulated to over 4,200 hotels/guesthouses and other non-traditional outlets accessible to key populations in nine provinces that are a priority for the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

In response to input from people who inject drugs and market surveys, PSI launched the world’s first low dead-space syringe (LDSS) social marketing pilot in 2013 to reduce supply- and demand-side barriers to using safer needles/syringes.5,6 The World Health Organization recommends LDSS distribution, given that they contain an estimated 100 times less fluid compared to high dead-space syringes, drastically reducing the risk of both HIV and HCV transmission. Increasing convenient access to quality and affordable LDSS coupled with behavior change communication promoting safe non-sharing behaviors has reduced reported needle/syringe sharing rates by half in the first year. The pilot has been extremely successful, generating over 720,000 LDSS sold and 6,000 averted DALYs in the first year.

HIV Prevention Behavior Change Communication

PSI/Vietnam’s communications support for HIV services have included the development of a national Chan Troi Moi (New Horizons) brand and multiple campaigns to promote the benefits learning HIV status among MARP individuals and couples. In 2013, the Ministry of Health endorsed the Chan Troi Moi campaign as a national campaign and facilitated placement in non-PEPFAR supported provinces, thereby dramatically increasing campaign coverage and contributions to national HIV/AIDS program goals. PSI has developed multiple campaigns to address barriers to consistent condom use, including the “Nho Toi Moi Lan” (Remember Me Every Time) campaign designed to address the misperception that familiar or healthy-looking partners have low risk of HIV transmission; as well as the “Yes! Condom” campaign designed to reposition condoms as a sign of a modern, positive lifestyle (vs. a health product.)

PSI also implemented the only targeted outreach initiative focusing on reaching female injecting drug users who also work as commercial sex workers. The Song Dep program pioneered the use of the Unique Identifier Code (UIC) monitoring system to track outreach coverage as well as related results including % of individuals reached who were also referred for HIV services.

CHILD SURVIVAL

Clean Water

Over 90% of Vietnam’s rural population is not serviced by piped water supply systems, and the consumption of contaminated river water contributes to nearly 7 million cases of diarrhea annually.7 Limited sanitation services, unsafe water and poor hygiene practices are leading causes of pneumonia and diarrhea, which account for nearly one-third of deaths among children under five-years-old in Vietnam.8 Since 2005, PSI has distributed and promoted SafeWat, a locally-manufactured household water treatment product originally developed by the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990, and licensed by the MOH/VIHEMA in Vietnam. One bottle of SafeWat provides quality drinking water to a family of six people for an entire month. In 2013 over 62,000 bottles of SafeWat were sold, protecting over 5,200 rural families.

Hygiene

Since 2011, PSI has partnered with Unilever and Lifebuoy soap to promote handwashing with soap – and household water treatment – in 2 rural provinces using an integrated approach through multiple communication channels accessible to rural families, including commune loudspeaker campaigns, illustrated leaflets, outdoor billboards near rural markets and community events. Interactive community events are designed to build household level commitment to treat water correctly and consistently, and to wash hands at critical junctures. In 2013 alone, PSI and Unilever organized 26 events in rural districts where families have limited access to piped water, reaching an estimated 7,000 rural caretakers and young children. In 2014 this partnership will benefit 160,000 rural caregivers in Hau Giang and Vinh Long provinces.

More on PSI/Vietnam's social marketing programs to improve water, sanitation and hygiene.

Nutrition

About one in three children under five years of age in Vietnam is stunted, whose undernutrition and micronutrient deficiency impairs intellectual development and increases the risk of morbidity and mortality. In this context, PSI/Vietnam in collaboration with the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and the Intitut de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD) implemented a pilot project with support from Irish Aid. Over the pilot period, the project used commercial distribution channels combined with evidence-based behavior change communications (BCC) to motivate lactating/pregnant women and children under five to practice healthier nutrition behaviors, including correct and consistent use of Lyzivita micro-nutrient powder. Over 84,000 Lyzivita sachets were sold to commercial outlets accessible to rural caregivers of children under five during the first 9 months of the pilot. Additionally, 886 commercial outlets were motivated to stock Lyzivita and display BCC materials designed to promote improved complementary feeding, including 686 rural pharmacies, 148 rural fast-moving consumer goods outlets and 52 rural private clinics. Nearly 7,000 caregivers were reached through market and community-based events in 2013.

TB & HYPERTENSION

PSI applies global best practices to motivate private clinics to provide quality, affordable services designed to address key national health priorities including child health, tuberculosis and hypertension. Launched in 2012, the Good Health, Great Life social franchise network represents smaller, community-level private clinics accessible to low-income, uninsured and marginalized communities in five provinces. In 2013, franchise clinics detected more than 1,000 TB cases and treated more than 6,000 hypertension cases. Their efforts also represent a 40% increase in private provider capacity to deliver preventative child health services, including appropriate use of Lyzivita micronutrient powder to prevent under nutrition among rural children.

  1. 1. Iorio A, et al. Antiviral Treatment from Chronic Hepatitis C in Patients with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (Review). The Cochrane Collaboration, 2010.
  2. 2. Easterbrook P, et al. Challenges and Priorities in the Management of HIV/HBV and HIV/HCV Co-infection in Resource-limited Settings. Seminars in Liver Disease, 2012.
  3. 3. HIV/AIDS Facts and Figures (UNAIDS).
  4. 4. FHI/Vietnam, MOH-VAAC: Vietnam HIV/AIDS Estimates and Projections 2007-2012, 2009.
  5. 5. Zule, et al, Evaluation of needle and syringe combinations. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology, 14:3, 294-295, 1991.
  6. 6. WHO, Guidance on prevention of viral hepatitis B and C among people who inject drugs, WHO/HIV/2012.18,2012
  7. 7. SNV (2010).Study of Rural Water Supply Service Delivery Models in Vietnam. Retrieved from www.snvworld.org/download/publications/rural_water_supply_in_vietnam_-_final_report.pdf
  8. 8. UNICEF. Pneumonia and Diarrhea: Tackling the deadliest disease for the world’s poorest children. 2012.
Latest News

Resources

Donors

  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Australian Government
  • Merck
  • Unilever
  • Traffic - World Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network
  • Soros Foundation
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • U.K. Agency for International Development
  • GAIN/Irish AID

Partners

  • Government of Vietnam, including national & provincial agencies
  • Commercial partners including BBVN, commercial distributors & creative agencies